Five of the Best Ski Destinations for Non-Skiers (and the Hotels to Book)

Sometimes the thought of strapping on skis and rocketing down icy slopes just isn't very appealing. Here's where to go when you'd rather spend winter soaking in hot tubs, feasting on rich food and cosying up by roaring log fires.

Don't ski? Make the most of winter at the world's greatest snowy resorts

Hokkaido

Japan

While skiing down Mount Yōtei's steep slopes appeals to many, some would much rather appreciate the view from down below. Get back to nature by soaking in the prefecture's hot springs at Shikotsu-Toya National Park, or come in February for the Sapporo Snow Festival, during which the region is covered in towering snow and ice sculptures. Where to stay: Lying amid Hokkaido's Hanazono forests and snow-covered meadows, Zaborin offers a secluded villa retreat. Zaborin's 15 villas place focus on the outside, with floor-to-ceiling windows and minimally decorated interiors. While away the hours soaking in one of two onsen baths, filled with mineral-rich volcanic water.

Kitzbuhel

Austria

One of Europe's glitziest resorts, Kitzbühel also offers much to do for non-skiers. Located just east of Innsbruck, this is the kind of place where days are best spent wandering through the car-free streets, popping into designer dens hidden down cobbled alleys and cosy cafés for a cup of steaming hot chocolate. Where to stay: If a detox is what you're after, stay at wellness-centric hotel Q! Resort Kitzbühel, where meditation sessions, vegan juice cleanses and natural bathing ponds soothe stress and promote wellness. For glamour worthy of the glitzy Alpine location, book a room at Hotel Schloss Lebenberg - a medieval hillside castle with views over the village.

Zermatt

Switzerland

People mainly go skiing for the food, right? Head to Zermatt to eat to your heart's content, without the pesky added task of exercising either side of the meal. Feast on cheese fondue with freshly baked sourdough and charcuterie boards, and finish with endless amounts of Swiss chocolate. Where to stay: Nestled in the slopes above Zermatt, native Alpine materials such as timber and stone ensure this cosy hideaway slots naturally into the surrounding environment. Spend lazy mornings at Cervo Mountain Boutique Resort sipping on coffee on your balcony with views of the Matterhorn in the distance.

Dolomites

Italy

Charming towns and icy rivers fill in the gaps between the jagged peaks of Italy's Dolomites. Spend days strolling through cobbled streets or hitching cable cars up to rifugi (mountainside chalet restaurants) perched on the slopes. Where to stay: Book yourself into Rosa Alpina, located in the village of San Cassiano. Enter to admire frescoed walls, local antiques and wood-carved furnishings dotted throughout the hotel, owned by the Pizzinini family for generations.

Jackson Hole

Wyoming

This favoured American ski spot has plenty on offer for those looking for a ski-free holiday. Take a husky-led ride up to Granite Hot Springs to take a dip in natural baths with views over the Granite Creek Falls, or rent a snowmobile to zip through the snow-covered Yellowstone National Park and visit the Old Faithful geyser. Where to stay: At the foot of the Tetons, Amangani is the perfect mountain retreat. Kick back among elegant sandstone and redwood interiors or take the free shuttle bus service into town.